1 Hear this all people, and give ear,
all in the world who dwell;
2 Both low and high, both rich and poor,
together listen well.
3 I with my mouth variety
of wisdom will impart,
And prudent knowledge rising from
the musing of my heart.
4 To an instructive parable
I'll first incline mine ear;
And then will with my song and harp,
My mystery declare.
5 Why should fear in evil days
when the iniquities
Of my stray feet surround me with
hosts of calamities?
6 Those men that make their great estates
their stay whereon to trust,
Or in th' abundance of their wealth
who confidently boast;
7 Yet none of them his brother can
by any means redeem,
Neither to GOD can ever pay
a ransom meet for him.
8 So dear his life's redemption is,
that bought it cannot be;
9 That he should still for ever live,
And not corruption see.
10 For they must see that wise men die,
the fool and brutish too,
All perish, and their great estates
to others leave they do.
11 They think their houses ever stand,
and dwelling places shall
Last to all ages; and their lands
by their own names they call:
12 But such men in their honour set
Continue but a night;
And like the beasts are soon cut off,
And quickly perish quite.
13 This way of theirs their folly is:
and yet their mouth and way
Their sons approve, and will pursue;
like foolish sheep are they.
14 They in the sepulchre are laid,
and death shall them devour;
But in the morning over them
the just shall have the pow'r.
And from the houses where they dwell,
The beauty now they have.
Shall utterly consume away
in the corrupting grave.
15 But GOD my soul will from the pow'r
ev'n of the grave redeem;
And he will surely me receive
to live in bliss with him. (Selah)
16 Be not disturb'd when thou dost see
riches to any flow,
Nor when the glory of his house
abundantly does grow.
17 For he shall carry nothing hence,
when death his days shall end;
Nor shall his glory after him
into the grave descend.
18 Tho' he his soul doth greatly bless,
while he on earth does live;
And when thou to thy self dost well,
men will their praises give;
19 Yet in their fathers steps they tread;
and when like them thy die,
Their wretched ancestors and they
in utter darkness lie.
20 For man how great soever here,
unless he's truly wise;
As like a sensual beast he lives,
so like a beast he dies.